Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

We started the day with coffee (of course), mimosas, and an AMAZING breakfast of Swedish pancakes and quiche made by my mom and professional chef aunt. YUMMY! While the quiche was cooking, we opened our Christmas stockings (which needed overflow bags below them for all the loot from Santa!). Then it was time for presents! Pictures requiring explanation: Mom and Mark bought each other scissors for the stockings (apparently this is an ongoing problem), Laurie models her Chip Clips as earrings, Peter and Glen attack one of mom's paintings with their new dart guns, and Glen gave Peter some of his old 80's punk rock albums. Yippee!

Later in the day, Laurie whipped up some Glogg. For the non-Swedes out there, Glogg (pronounced glug, because the O should have those 2 dots over it) is red wine, heated with lots of spices, cinnamon sticks, and a variety of fruits, and nuts if you like. All the variations call for different liquors, but we have ours with brandy and aquavit (a Swedish caraway-flavored rubbing-alcohol like liquor). Since all the guys were shoveling, plowing the driveway, or just playing outside with the dog, they especially appreciated a warm drink when they came in! The rest of the afternoon was quiet, with a new puzzle being worked on, new books being read, a nap here and there, and some munching on leftovers.

Oh...and it snowed A LOT. 14 inches as of 6pm and still snowing hard when I left! White Christmases are beautiful but totally overrated when you don't have 4WD. Luckily my brother followed me down the canyon, just in case. I made it home with a scary slide almost off a road and my favorite highway home closed...and about 18 inches of snow plowed in front of my driveway. Still, it was a wonderful day with the family! Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve

This year, I joined my mom, Mark, brother Peter, uncle Glen, and Aunt Laurie for Christmas at my mom's house. Christmas eve we had turkey, lamb, mashed potatoes, rice, rolls, and possibly some other food for a big dinner. For dessert we had leftover wedding cake that had been frozen! After dessert, we all opened a present, as is the tradition in our family on Christmas eve. Then, we all opened a few more, just for the heck of it. Check out the nice sunset behind mom and Glen when they are opening presents! Laurie gets a little silly modeling a necklace she got from Grandma Johnson!

Lucy's Lobster

Lucy always gets a Christmas present, if only to get her out of our hair. This year she got a stuffed lobster, which was quite a hit. She ripped off the antennas and tore most of the stuffing out of it in no time, but the squeaker and rope legs are still intact....for now.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Winter Relaxation

One of the best combinations of things, no matter what the weather, is:
1. hot tub
2. a good book
3. a cup of coffee (or glass of wine/beer, depending on time of day)

My mom is on another trip, meaning house and dog sitting. Normally, I go up to her house on the weekends when she's gone, since I love being in the mountains. Then, during the week, to avoid an hour-plus commute, Lucy stays at my house. My favorite thing about mom's house is the hot tub!

The first night, it was snowing pretty hard. I had to shovel about 8 inches of snow off first! It may be the only time I've started a beer, and it was colder when I finished it than when I started! The next morning the sun was out so I brought out my book and coffee. Aaaaah...

Three snow-related notes:
1. I may have missed my window of opportunity for putting up outdoor lights. I usually just do some on the bushes in front, and a string of the "icicles" on my back porch. But it keeps snowing. Not a lot, but enough to make it a bad idea.
2. Dog sitting and walking is a lot more fun when it's warmer.
3. Brother Carl, employee at Crested Butte ski area in southern CO, has received 81 inches of snow in the last week. They have a forecast for another foot or two with the current storm! Yowza!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Some cheer

Suffice it to say, the last 2 weeks of school have been absolutely awful. Problems with kids, bigger problems with parents, observation by my principal, night-time commitments (PTO meeting and arts night)....I'm wiped out!

But tonight, I decided to cheer my place up and put up my Christmas decorations! After the initial shock, who put that box all the way up there??? I got to work. I must say, it is feeling pretty festive around here!


Kali loves to hide and play in the tree!

Many of my ornaments are gifts I've received from students. This one (on the right) is a favorite....not only is it beautiful, but I always remember the student giving it to me telling me, "my parents probably spent a fortune on this!" So, despite the blue theme of my tree, there are many ornaments with a red or "apple" theme.